Media Matters

Celebrating Older People’s Day at Retirement Villages

News   •   Sep 23, 2010 14:24 BST

Almost 2,000 residents of Retirement Villages, the pioneering developer of age exclusive communities, will be celebrating the government-backed Older People's Day 2010 by doing - nothing different.

The theme of this year's dedicated event on Friday 1st October is 'getting and staying active in later life', with the emphasis squarely on persuading the over 60s to discover for themselves the benefits of physical activity.

That's something the residents of the 11 Retirement Villages Ltd developments already know, understand and enjoy.

Between them the residents – all aged over 55 - boast a wide array of skills, knowledge and interests. And the activities organised by them, and each village’s dedicated staff, reflect that.

"If someone is interested in learning a new skill, picking up an old hobby or just continuing a long-held interest, the chances are there's someone else in their village who fancies joining them and suddenly there’s the basis of a club or class," said Operations Manager Malcolm Sniders.

That organic growth of the social calendars in the villages has seen more than 120 special interest groups flourish across the company’s sites. Book clubs, quiz nights, crossword groups, choirs, bowls clubs, Tai Chi, painting classes, knitting circles, amateur dramatics, gardening groups….the options are seemingly endless.

“Being active doesn’t necessarily have to mean formal exercise,” said Malcolm. “Just getting out the house to go and meet friends means you’re on the go. Discussing a book or doing a crossword keeps your mind active. And being in a strong social circle is great for self esteem.

“Often, before moving to a Retirement Village, our residents have lived in communities where neighbours are out at work, families live busy lives and friends have moved away. Residents have said to us they’ve made more friends and been more active since they’ve lived in a Retirement Village than they have in a long time.”

Former Royal Opera House singer Gillian Ramsden leads the choir at Elmbridge Village in Cranleigh. She’s a strong advocate of activity as a promoter of well-being.

“There’s a big social element to the choir,” said Gillian. “Meeting up with friends to do a non-competitive team activity which has you all working towards the same goal is a tremendous boost to well-being.

“You have to breathe to sing – if you’re singing, you’re living.”

If you’d like to know more about the type of activities available at Retirement Villages visit the residents diary pages on the website http://www.retirementvillages.co.uk/Village-Living.aspx or call us on 0845 5211857.

Retirement Villages Ltd pioneered age exclusive communities in the UK and now has 11 sites in the south of the country, home to almost 2,000 residents. http://www.retirementvillages.co.uk

UK Older People’s Day is a national celebration of the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and to the economy.
http://fulloflife.direct.gov.uk/older-peoples-day.html
Among the advantages of staying active, the campaign lists:
•    Helping maintain independence
•    Maintaining and increasing social networks
•    Getting people out and about in the local community
•    Opportunity to learn new skills
•    Increasing energy levels and zest for life


Note to editors

For more press information contact Suzanne Ostler at Media Matters on 01733 371363 or email suzanne@mediamatters-pr.co.uk.